Often when we’re trying to play loud music on our speakers, all we can hear is muffled sounds coming in, as if we’ve enclosed the speakers inside a box. This is a very common issue that’s generally caused due to several technical errors – some of which are easy to fix while some are very complex that may require professional repairing.
So stick around as we’re going to walk you through the possible reasons why your speakers are producing muffled sounds and how you can solve the issue by yourself.
What’s Causing Your Speakers to Sound Muffled?
We have compiled a short list of all the common reasons that create weakened muffled sounds from speakers. Let’s discuss them one by one:
1. Sound Waves Getting Blocked
One of the reasons why you can hear muffled tunes when playing loud music is because the speaker grill is probably covered in dust and dirt particles. Songs that have high-frequency sounds tend to have shorter wavelengths – if the tiny openings from which the sounds come out are blocked with dust – the shorter wavelengths hence lose energy and get slightly distorted – which is why you end up hearing muffled sounds.
Furthermore, you may have improperly placed your speaker in a not-so-suitable area. If it’s on the floor, then vibrations from the floor could be affecting the sound quality. You should keep speakers in an open space, away from having direct contact with walls.
Make sure your speakers are placed in an acoustically transparent area and not in a very cramped and enclosed space. It’s better if the listener and the speakers are at ear level within a good range.
Secondly, look for any dirt, debris or food particles that might be blocking sound waves. Even if you can’t see the dust with your naked eyes, you should still do a quick clean-up for better sound results. Take a toothbrush and some tissues for a quick wipe. You also use alcohol pads (with 70% isopropyl alcohol) to kill any germs and bacteria present.
However, if the area is severely infected and contaminated and you’re not comfortable cleaning it yourself, you can appoint a professional cleaner to do the job.
2. Incorrect Audio and EQ settings
If the audio settings on your AV receiver or computer are improper, you’ll have to do some reset. Find the option for playback setting, check the treble gain level, if it’s too low then you need to turn it up to the midpoint or higher than that.
If the muffled sounds continue to persist, then you can try turning off EQ to check if the sound quality improves. In general, setting a high-quality audio format is likely to make things better.
Lastly, you can try resetting up the AC receiver all over again which is the main component that processes audio and video signals. In order to calibrate the receiver you must first connect the speakers and media devices to the AC receiver. Hopefully, doing this will solve the issue.
3. Speaker Polarity Not Correctly Aligned.
If the positive and negative terminals are not properly matched with each other, this will reverse the polarity and the sound quality will be dull as a result. Therefore, you need to check out the + and – terminals at speaker outputs and input.
4. Issues With High-frequency Driver
The high-frequency driver is a very crucial component of your speakers – if this becomes faulty then it’s not unusual to be hearing muffled sounds.
Your high-frequency driver could be completely damaged or partially – you’ll have to determine that yourself.
The cone suspension could be damaged because of excess thermal heat build-up. Similarly, the voice coils could have overheated and burst.
If you own a multi-way speaker, it will have more than one high-frequency driver and it will be tricky to identify which ones are working and which ones are faulty. What you can try doing is playing music with high-frequency tunes, then wave your hand in front of each, take turns and look for any changes in the sound output levels.
However, if you’re not up for this challenging ordeal, you can take your speakers for professional repair any time.
5. Faulty Capacitor/Tweeter
How do you know whether the capacitor and tweeter are working fine or have become damaged? There are some common symptoms that will help you determine – such as bulging, signs of corrosion and rust on the outer surface, change in color (dark brownish), leaking electrolyte etc.
If you notice that the high-frequency driver has a very low output (lower than it used to be) it could indicate that the capacitor near the crossover circuit has become faulty and needs repairing. Likewise, you’ll have to repair the blown tweeter as well.
It’s not something easy to do unless you’re experienced. That’s why we would recommend seeking professional help from a repairman. Or instead of repairing, you can also replace the faulty components with new ones. In that case, it would be better if you buy a capacitor with a higher voltage output but low (µF) value.
6. Damaged Wiring
If you were shifting your speakers to a different location and had to reset it, it’s possible that you may have accidentally damaged any of the wires.
Wires are very delicate and can easily get stripped if not handled carefully – especially the wire that connects the speaker to the external amp on the positive terminal. Therefore, we recommend doing a thorough assessment of each of the wires and replacing them or upgrading them with greater-quality ones.
Hearing weak sounds and muffled audio coming from your speakers is not only annoying but extremely challenging to identify the possible issues and solve them the correct way. However, we hope that using our directive instructions, you’ll be able to fix your speakers and enjoy some good music of great sound quality in no time.
Just make sure to turn off the speakers when you want to disassemble it and look into the internal components and hardwares. Wearing hand gloves will also be better.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you fix a muffled speaker?
To fix a muffled speaker, you must identify where the problem lies. You may be required to get new wirings, a new capacitor or a new tweeter. Or if you’re lucky, a simple wipe with a clean rag could do the magic.
What makes sound muffled?
Several things could cause your speakers to produce weak muffled sounds, such as – blown out high-frequency driver, damaged wiring, faulty capacitor, damaged tweeter, software issues, misplacement of the AC receiver, poor acoustics, misaligned polarity between the positive and negative terminals and so much more.
How can I make my speakers sound clear?
Position your speakers at about an ear-level to the audience. Always make sure that your speakers are clean and not dusty. Do not keep your speakers directly on the floor since that’ll affect sound quality. You can also add sound dampening materials and upgrade the current wiring set.
How do I make my audio more crisp?
You can increase the audio to higher frequency and moderate saturation. You can also take help of audio softwares such as ‘Audacity’ to make your audio sound more crisp and clearer.